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Stocks rise as foreigners buy on trade reports

Jan 31,2019
Stocks ended higher Wednesday on the back of foreign investor interest, with the main index closing above 2,200 for the first time this year. The Korean won appreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi added 22.84 points, or 1.05 percent, to finish at 2,206.20. It marked the first time for the index to exceed the 2,200 mark since Oct. 10, when the market closed at 2,228.61.

Trading volume was moderate at 469 million shares worth 6.77 trillion won ($6.06 billion).

Analysts said Korean shares closed higher as foreign investors became net buyers for the fifth consecutive session.

“U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s remark that there has been a significant progress in the trade deal with China is a positive factor,” said Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities.

Foreign investors bought a net 306.1 billion won worth of stock, and institutions bought a net 19.5 billion won of stock. Individuals sold a net 327.3 billion won worth of shares.

Samsung Electronics rose 1.98 percent to 46,400 won, and SK Hynix gained 3.41 percent to 75,900 won. LG Electronics moved up 0.3 percent to 67,600 won.

LG Display lost ground due to lackluster earnings, falling 3.66 percent to 19,750 won.

Carmakers finished strong, with Hyundai Motor advancing 1.17 percent to 129,500 won and Kia Motors increasing 3.43 percent to 36,150 won. Hyundai Mobis climbed 1.58 percent to 224,500 won.

Chemical firms also closed higher, with LG Chem moving up 0.26 percent to 379,000 won and LG Household & Health Care climbing 4.48 percent to 1,260,000 won. S-Oil added 0.49 percent to 103,500 won.

Posco rose 6.15 percent to 285,000 won, and Hyundai Steel rose 1.58 percent to 51,300 won.

Celltrion moved up 2.14 percent to 215,000 won, while Samsung BioLogics traded down 1.02 percent to 388,000 won. Hanmi Pharmaceutical decreased 0.23 percent to 430,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq rose 4.31 points, or 0.61 percent, to end the session at 715.30.

The tech and bio-heavy index was lifted by foreign buying of IT and semiconductor shares despite a 0.8-percent fall in Nasdaq Composite Index on Tuesday.

The Korean won closed at 1,116.30 won against the dollar, down 0.20 won.

Bonds fell. The yield on three-year bonds rose 0.4 points to 1.83 percent. The yield on 10-year bonds rose 1.6 basis points to 2.05 percent.

BY KIM HE-YU, YONHAP [kim.heyu@joongang.co.kr]